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Group Warns Against Smear Campaigns Targeted At Buratai, Other Patriots That Served Nigeria

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Some shadowy international groups plan to launch a smear campaign to assassinate the character of the immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai (rtd). 

This revelation was made by the civil society group, Nigeria First, at a press conference on Thursday in Abuja wherein it dismissed the alleged killing of Igbos by the Nigerian Army under Buratai’s watch. 

According to its Secretary-General, 
Richard Augustine Adie, these groups have been mobilized to cast aspersion on the character of the immediate past Chief of Army Staff by calling his stewardship into question. 

Augustine Adie noted that the despicable elements would go any length to destroy the Nigerian Army by publishing baseless, fictitious and unsubstantiated reports using ethnicity and religion to break its ranks. 

He added that the overarching objective is to discredit all the notable achievements of Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai while in office in the puerile attempt at instigating the general public against the Nigerian Army as an institution of repute. 

According to Adie, those behind these claims are doing everything possible to discourage the new service chiefs from delivering on the mandate that Mr President. 

The Nigeria First, therefore, condemned this act of sabotage in the strongest terms, warning those fanning the drums of religious and ethnic war in the country to desist from such for peace and tranquillity. 

The group said that the years of the Tukur Buratai leadership as COAS of the Nigerian Army would go down in history as one of the most challenging chapters in Nigeria’s book. 

Nigeria First, however, urged all well-meaning Nigerians must rise to the occasion by speaking in one voice in this critical point of our existence.

Read the full statement below:

I welcome you all to this press conference by Nigeria First, an organization devoted to the entrenchment and preservation of governance in Nigeria is calling this press conference in light of the plot by some shadowy groups hiding under the nomenclature of civil society groups to ferment trouble in Nigeria. 

We have credible information on how these groups have been mobilized to cast aspersion on the character of the immediate past Chief of Army Staff by calling to question his stewardship of the Nigerian Army. 

We wish to inform the generality of Nigerians that indeed the plot is real and enormous resources have been earmarked to discredit the personality of the immediate past Chief of Army Staff and call to question his stewardship of the Nigerian Army while he held sway. 

Consequently, we may wish to recall that the public space has been inundated with outright falsehood in recent times through press statements, press conferences opinion articles, and news stories discrediting the immediate past Chief of Army Staff.   

The overarching objective is to discredit all the notable achievements of Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai while in office in the puerile attempt at instigating the general public against the Nigerian Army as an institution of repute. 

Nigeria First as an organization is indeed aware that these despicable elements would go any length to destroy the Nigerian Army by publishing baseless, fictitious and unsubstantiated reports using ethnicity and religion to break the ranks of the Nigerian Army in an attempt to destroy the Nigerian Army as an institution. 

One of such instances is the recent diatribe alleging the immediate past Chief of Army Staff, indeed ordered for the killing of Igbos by troops of the Nigerian Army. This outright falsehood indeed must not be allowed to stand because of the consequences it might have on the overall psyche of the Nigerian populace. 

The assumption that some Igbos were executed on the instructions of the immediate past Chief of Army Staff remains a figment of the imagination as the institutional frameworks introduced by Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai in the Nigerian Army does not give room for religious or ethnic sentiments. 

This is indeed the culmination of attempts by some enemies of Nigeria hiding under the auspices of an international coalition who would go to any length to destroy the Nigerian Army as an institution of repute.  

It is instructive to state that the people behind these claims are doing everything possible to discourage the new service chiefs from delivering on the mandate that Mr President and the Constitution has empowered them to fight the various security challenges facing the country.

Nigeria First condemns this act of sabotage in the strongest terms and wishes to sound a note of warning to those fanning the drums of religious and ethnic war in the country to desist from such ignoble endeavours in the interest of peace and tranquillity and the continued existence of Nigeria as a country.   

The attempt to denigrate those who have devoted their energy and time to the service of this nation is therefore viewed as very unacceptable and will not be tolerated by well-meaning Nigerians. 

This is on the heels that the records of Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai as the Chief of Army Staff are indeed replete with acts of devotion, dedication and patriotism to the Nigerian cause. Therefore it should be on record that this is an attempt at character assassination aimed at rubbishing the years of sacrifices by Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai in leading the Nigerian Army towards preserving the sovereignty of Nigeria.   

Nigeria First as an organization indeed bears witness to the noble and outstanding efforts of Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai in addressing the security challenges in the country and all through the years, Nigeria First indeed scrutinized the operations of the Nigerian Army with regards to human rights compliance, respect for the rule of law and conformity to the rules of engagement in warfare. 

If this is the case, we consequently wonder why the smear campaign against Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, if not for mischief purposes, remains despicable and condemnable.  Nigerians and the rest of the world are as a result of this urged to resist any attempt to infiltrate the Nigerian Army through the deployment of smear campaigns.

We unequivocally ask that those trying to drag the immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai in the mud should have a rethink. It would be tantamount to lack of appreciation for his efforts that saw to Nigeria recording tangible gains in the war against Boko Haram insurgency and other militancy acts across the country. 

We are also using this medium to state that the years of the Tukur Buratai leadership of the Nigerian Army would go down in history as one of the most challenging chapters in Nigeria’s book. 

Nigeria First frowns at such anomaly hence the convocation of this press conference to put the records straight in fairness to the immediate past Chief of Army Staff.  

Nigerians must see this campaign as an affront to our sensibilities as a people and as a country and must do all to resist the harbingers of violence and apostles of disintegration who are bent on inciting violence in the country. 

The peculiarity of the time requires that well-meaning Nigerians must rise to the occasion by speaking in one voice in this critical point of our existence. We must say no to promoting ethnic and religious sentiments in the country, for neither North, East, South nor West, but one Nigeria. 

We thank you all for your time and belief in the unity of strength and purpose of Nigeria. 

God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 

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Troops Foil Boko Haram Attempts To Infiltrate Dikwa Town

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The troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE have decisively routed elements of Boko Haram Terrorists and their Islamic State of West Africa Province(ISWAP) counterpart who attempted to infiltrate and attack Dikwa town in Dikwa Local Government Area of Borno State.

The terrorist groups who stormed the town in an unconfirmed number of gun trucks and motorcycles were visited with heavy bombardment and overwhelming firepower by troops of 81 Task Force Battalion with reinforcement from other formations of the Nigerian Army and aided by air support of Air Task Force Operation LAFIYA DOLE.

The terrorists attempted to invade the town to loot food items and other logistics having got wind of the recent food distribution to residents of the town by the state governor, Professor Babagana Zulum.

They came in their droves through the Marte axis but could not gain access to the town due to the combat readiness of troops who were positioned there.

The terrorists subsequently lost initiative as they were cut off completely following the recent successful recapture of Marte town by the gallant troops.
In desperation and to scare off residents from returning to their homes, they planted series of landmines on the roads which were also detected and successfully detonated by troops.

Consequently, the Army Headquarters wishes to debunk the unsubstantiated reports on social media suggesting that the terrorists attacked UN Base in BORNO, trapping 25 Aid Workers as published by some outlets.

Those false and sensational reports are clearly aimed at stirring up tension in the region and diminishing the glaring efforts and sacrifices of the Nigerian military in the fight against insurgency.

The COAS, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, has commended the efforts of the gallant troops’ and the prompt response of the Air Task Force in providing air interdictions throughout the operation.

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Apologise To Abia Gov Or Face Recall, Kogi West Youths Tell Adeyemi

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A group called Concerned Kogi West Youths has called on the Senator representing Kogi West, Smart Adeyemi, to immediately apologise to Abia State governor, Victor Ikpeazu, over his uncomplimentary comment on the latter or face recall from the Senate.

A statement issued by the group and signed Mr Michael Oluwaseun Bolorunduro on Monday said Senator Adeyemi must apologise to the Abia governor and the people of Abia State within seven days or be ready for the consequence.

The youths, however, apologised on behalf of the Kogi West people to Governor Ikpeazu for the “behaviour” of Senator Adeyemi on the floor of the Senate during a debate on the Safe School Initiative agaisnt the backdrop of incessant attacks on schools by bandits in the North last week.

“We the concerned Kogi West Youth are writing to apologise for the behaviour of the Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Senator Smart Adeyemi, recently on the floor of the Hallowed Chamber.

“It took us this long to react or respond to his ungentlemanly attitude because the character trait that he displayed is alien to our culture in Kogi West. We tried to know reasons for such reactions and alas, we couldn’t find any justifiable and sensible reason for such.

“We, too, were personally shocked and offended by his actions and utterances which were a direct contravention of the values of dignity and good mannerism that we teach in our locality.

“We all know that emotions can get heated, but it does not excuse the language and behavior of our representative,” the group said.

They added that they as “wise constituents” have decided “to right the wrong of the malady and public show of shame as displayed by Senator Smart Adeyemi” to apologise and as well demand apology from Adeyemi.

“It is on this note that we demand that Senator Smart Adeyemi within seven days apologise at the same Hallowed Chamber of the Senate for his uncontrollable utterances against the governor and people of Abia State or face recal,” Bolorunduro declared.

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COVID-19: Coalition Salutes FG, NPHCDA Overall Early Arrival Of Vaccine

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With the expected arrival of coronavirus vaccines into the country on Tuesday, the National Coalition on Vaccine Awareness and Administration (NCVAA) has applauded the Federal Government and National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).

The group, at a press conference on Monday in Abuja, noted that this is a big step in containing the rampaging contagion that has consumed millions across the world.

Nigeria will become the third West African country to benefit from the COVAX facility after Ghana and the Ivory Coast when it receives 3.92 million doses of the vaccine.

And the convener, Gabriel Agogo, speaking on behalf of the coalition, said Nigeria can not be left alone in the global immunisation against the disease, especially with the conspiracy theories and propaganda being peddled around.

He urged all Nigerians to become agents of this public awareness and actively partake in the immunization to protect ourselves, our families and the public health of the nation.

The NCVAA, however, called on all Nigerians irrespective of partisan, religious and ethnic affiliations to come out en mass to mobilize their families and friends for the Covid-19 vaccine administration as a way of totally defeating the spread of the coronavirus disease and saving humanity from its destruction.

Read the full statement below:

The leadership and members of the National Coalition on Vaccine Awareness and Administration (NCVAA) salutes and welcome all of you to this press conference. We also salute the courage and perseverance of Nigerians in the firm determination to fight Covid-19 to a standstill by observing the Government protocols to curtail its spread. Our case would have been worse, had Nigerians failed to imbibe self-discipline.

As all of you are aware, we have lost thousands of our brothers and sisters to the pandemic since it broke out in Wuhan, China in February 2020 and became a world health threat. And many more people infected by the virus are still hospitalized in different hospitals in the country. We prayerfully wish them a speedy recovery.

But the good news is that majority of Nigerians are uninfected by the Covid-19 pandemic. It is this larger population of Nigerians free from the venom of the Covid-19 pandemic that our Government is more interested in insulating from the deadly disease. It is in this light that we have decided to create public awareness of the arrival of the Covid-19 vaccine for immunization through this press conference and other necessary public enlightenment activities, to attract massive public awareness to it.

Therefore, we have decided to address Nigerians and draw their attention to the arrival of the Covid-19 vaccine in the country and the kick-start of the Covid-19 vaccine immunization exercise nation-wide. The vaccine is a proactive public health safety measure, which we believe will automatically arrest the spread of Covid-19 and put a halt to the other public inconveniences it causes if all of us avail ourselves to the immunization which is free of charge to everyone.

We wish to let all Nigerians know that the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has acquired and taken possession of millions of dosages of the Covid-19 vaccine. It is a scientifically approved immunization vaccine, certified by the World Health Organization (WHO) for onward worldwide circulation to fight the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

Nigeria cannot afford to be left out of this global trend. Nigerians should therefore emulate other very religious nations like Saudi Arabia, Rome, India, Australia, Sweden and a host of other countries worldwide which have accepted the Covid-19 vaccine and immunized their people with it. These countries have overcome the Covid-19 pandemic as a result of the intake of the Covid-19 vaccine. And with our collective resolve now, we shall also overcome it.

We find it imperative to emphasize this point because of the underground campaigns, conspiracy theories and propaganda peddled by perpetual anti-progressive forces in the country, who have aligned the Covid-19 vaccine to some unproven and barbaric death claims. There is no scintilla of truth in these negative assertions on the Covid-19 vaccine

Permit us to sound it loud and clear that the Covid-19 vaccine is approved by WHO, the global health body, after several scientific and clinical tests, before certifying it as safe for all humanity. So, in Nigerian, we must guide against repeating the same mistake which opposed the idea of launching a G5 network for telecoms in Nigeria. We are too enlightened to be deceived by those who wish us no good.

Nigeria is a very strategic country in the African continent, which cannot afford indifference or antipathy in the global fight against the deadly Covid-19 epidemic. NCVAA is aware of the campaigns of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) on the Covid-19 vaccine and has decided to add its voice to it. We expect all Nigerians to become agents of this public awareness and actively partake in the immunization to protect ourselves, our families and the public health of the nation.

NCVAA is hereby calling on all Nigerians irrespective of partisan, religious and ethnic affiliations to come out en mass to mobilize their families and friends for the Covid-19 vaccine administration as a way of totally defeating the spread of the coronavirus disease and saving humanity from its destruction. We must resolve today to victoriously conquer the Covid-19 pandemic, in the same manner, we defeated Ebola, bird flu, SARS which occurred years back.

The Covid-19 vaccine is advantageous in several ways. Socially, the immunization against Covid-19 will secure us against contracting the coronavirus disease and ensure greater chances of our freedom from other allied ailments which comes with the Coronavirus and restore our social and communal interactions.

The Covid-19 vaccine is not only capable of saving the lives of the entire humanity, but it can completely prevent hospitalizations’ and the mass deaths we have experienced in the past over Covid-19. It will save us from agonies and pains associated with it. All conspiracy’s theories against the vaccine should therefore be discarded.

Also, medical scientists and researchers who have painstakingly worked and developed the Covid-19 vaccine have attested to its nearly 100% effectiveness at preventing other related severe illnesses related to it, like the common cold amongst others. Taking the vaccine is akin to the popular African proverb which alludes to someone using one stone to kill two birds.

Furthermore, a general public immunization against Covid-19 nation-wide in Nigeria would ease the Government lockdowns and other disproportionate or stifling public health measures, which causes us varying disruptions in our everyday operations. This is why we have found it expedient to endorse the NPHCDA Campaigns. It is now a direct invitation to every Nigerian not only to take the vaccine but become the chief propagandists of this good message of redemption from the grip of Covid-19.

NCVAA profoundly thanks the Almighty God for His Grace upon us; we salute the medical scientists for their wisdom in developing the Covid-19 vaccine and finally, the FGN under President Buhari for securing the vaccines and their early delivery to us. It shows we have a Government and a leader who is sensitive to the public health of Nigerians. We immensely thank all of you.

Thank you all and journey mercies to your various destinations.

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